What has three wheels, six legs and travels at 20mph?

06 Jul 2011 13:53:12.907
PA 210/11
July 4 2011

In these days of international travel, a journey from Nottingham to India doesn’t seem that remarkable.
But when that journey involves three men crammed into a tiny rickshaw and driving nearly 6,000 miles at 20mph, it’s something of a challenge.
Sanjay Sharma, Mukesh Kashyap, Kelham Osborne will be driving from Nottingham to New Delhi in a Bajaj auto rickshaw, or tuk-tuk.
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Sanjay is an IT support worker at The University of Nottingham, Kelham is a train driver for East Midlands Train and Mukesh is a lecturer at Nottingham Trent University.
They came up with the idea of the charity road-trip after Kelham’s father, Keith, died of lung cancer in 2009. They hope to raise around £20,000 for Nottingham University Hospitals’ Oncology Unit, based at City Hospital, as well as Cancer Research UK, the Ganga Prem Hospice and Apnalaya in India.
The team will leave from Nottingham’s Council House on the eighth chime of 8am on July 14 — and will be waved on their way by the Lord Mayor of Nottingham.

Sanjay said: “After the death of Kelham’s dad, we felt compelled to show our appreciation for the fantastic care and support of Nottingham City Hospitals’ Oncology Unit by raising funds to help them continue to provide their valuable and much-needed service.”

The team did a test run — from Land’s End to John O’Groats and a mere 876 miles — in the summer of 2009, raising more than £2,000.

Sanjay added: “Spurred on by the success our trip, and people’s generosity, we’ve set our sights higher for our second, mammoth adventure.”

Rickshaws are not allowed on motorways, so the team will negotiate the back roads of Britain to get to Folkestone for a Le Shuttle crossing on July 15.

The team will travel through France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran and United Arab Emirates before taking a ferry to India and ending up in Mumbai.
Along the way, they’ll be camping and staying with friends, with occasional nights in cheap hotels.
After a well-earned rest, the team will tackle the final leg of the journey. The whole trip is expected to take around five to six weeks.
Their tuk-tuk was customised by four engineering students from the University and will contribute up a third of the marks towards their degree.
The modifications carried out by Nick Manners, Chris Loveridge, Carl Baines and Rakesh Narayana included adding cruise control, extra storage space, extra fuel capacity and generally making the tuk-tuk more suited to such an epic journey.
Nick said: “It was a great experience working with Sanjay on his tuk-tuk and I hope our modifications can help them make the journey easier. I hope that they have a safe, successful trip and raise lots of money for several great causes. I wish them all the best and will be following their progress eagerly.”
Sanjay added: “The task ahead is not an easy one. It will be both fun and dangerous.
“We’ll be travelling in extreme temperatures on rural roads and through very remote desert regions. I am determined to succeed and would like to thank all of our sponsors both big and small in helping us make this possible.
“I’d also like to say a big thank-you to Wollaton Park Rotary Club for their help and support. It is at times like this when you realise what charity is all about.”
A second tuk-tuk will accompany the team to Folkestone, driven by friend and tyre sponsor Adrian Massey, who owns Podders scrapyard.

Regular blog updates and video footage of the journey will be available through the website, http://www.slowtraintoindia.co.uk      
For exclusive access to photos and interviews, e-mail sanjay@slowtraintoindia.co.uk for more information.


Story credits

More information and images are available from sanjay@slowtraintoindia.co.uk; or Karen Shale, Internal Communications Manager in the Communications Office at The University of Nottingham, Karen.shale@nottingham.ac.uk on +44 (0)115 846 8545

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